Why One Life to Live Has Us Mad as Hell

Outraged fans across the web are springing up to do whatever they can to prevent One Life to Live executive producer Frank Valentini from scrapping what many (including myself) feel has been the most authentic and successful gay love story daytime has ever told, that of Oliver Fish (Scott Evans) and Kyle Lewis (Brett Claywell). The best effort I’ve spied so far is the "Don’t Put Kish In The Closet"  Post Card Campaign.

I haven’t said much about all of this up until now, because my old J-School prof used to advise me to wait for 24 to 36 hours to write about something that really gets me fired up. Now if you read me here on this site, or follow me on Twitter, you know I rarely follow that advice, but for something this sensitive, this imperative, this game-changing for OLTL and, in my opinion, the entire industry, I decided to take a breather for a couple of days.

One Life to Live has been heavily-praised by Daytime Confidential.com and many others outlets because it was the one soap opera on the air that seemed committed to telling stories about a diverse, multigenerational canvas that actually somewhat reflected life in America. The fact that this seems to be changing makes me mad as hell.

 If TPTB are so shortsighted as to blame the one couple who managed to garner this soap opera any legitimate buzz and goodwill during the past year (Sorry, Snoop) in some desperate attempt to push lackluster pairings from the not-so-distant past (John/Natalie, Cristian/Jessica) because they feel the show went "too gay" then I seriously don’t know how long we will stay committed to supporting this soap opera.  Oh and by the by, "gay overkill" is such an outrageously offensive statement to make. If OLTL decides to scrap the Evans storyline and someone alleges "black overkill" as the reasoning there will be anarchy, and rightly so. 

How about "sicko overkill?" Instead of rushing to assume the gays drove viewers away, I don’t know, maybe ask yourselves if it was Mitch Laurence (Roscoe Born) cartoonishly terrorizing the town, culminating in a disgusting plan to rape his own daughter; or Stacy Morasco (Crystal Hunt), the living, breathing, blonde, blow up, stripper doll, who strutted around in her panties stealing bags of blood and lying about her pregnancy for a year, all while generally SLEEPWALKING through her scenes, and causing many of her costars to do the same?

I have to say I am so glad I am not a part of this coveted "mainstream" soap opera audience who is apparently A-okay with incest, rape, murder, grave robbing, etc., yet finds a committed gay couple, featured in a (B) storyline, too offensive to watch in between their Masengil commercials. As if losing Kish wasn’t bad enough, OLTL has also fired the striking and talented Daphnee Duplaix (Rachel), popular star Scott Clifton (Schuyler), and managed to lose the girl who could have been their Generation Next Tina Lord, Amanda Setton (Kim). I’m sorry, but the Perils of Teen Messica (Bree Williamson) and a surprise pregnancy for the coma-inducing Marty Saybrooke (Susan Haskell) won’t be enough to  make up for any of this. Not. Even.Close.

 With OLTL’s ratings in the toilet, the critical acclaim the series managed to garner— due largely to Ron Carlivati‘s powerful writing for Kish, coupled with the stellar acting and chemistry displayed by Evans and Claywell— has more than helped OLTL secure itself the distinction of being "The Best Soap You’re Not Watching", but with Kish K.O’d, and diversity once again taking a backseat in Llanview, I am seriously not sure how much longer I will be telling people to "watch One Life to Live", and as my grandmother used to say, that ain’t a threat— it’s a promise.

119 Responses

  1. Profile photo of kitty

    The critical acclaim didn’t do anything to help OLTL.  The people who were going to watch, were watching, the people that weren’t, obviously weren’t going to listen to the agenda driven "OLTL is the best soap you aren’t watching" spiel. Watch a soap for one couple or character doesn’t work, and your comments are an example why, becuase once that one thing is gone, so is the love for the show. Critical acclaim isn’t going to pay the bills and IF there were some people who tuned in due to the buzz, they quickly tuned out, I would guess becuase they didn’t like what they were seeing. So OLTL is no longer a good soap if they end the Kish story?  Ironically, Kish was not what I found offensive in the gay storyline, I actually think a story of a cop "coming out" could be very compelling, but it was messed up by the gay wedding/Dorian fiasco and other characters who were on my screen ONLY because they were gay. The message I got from characters like Dorian and Nick and Dorian’s campaign manager was that it is ok if you lie and do things underhanded, as long as it is for the "right" cause, which is the gay cause.  The problems in this storyline are the same problems in the other storylines.  Too much emphasis on characters the audeince isn’t invested in, like the Evans’, Nick, Dorian’s campaign manager, etc. These characters all had way too much airtime while fan faves linger with nothing to do and I include Kish in this category.  I care about a well written story, and sorry, Ron just isn’t capable of that.  All of his stories are campy, OTT and heavy handed and Kish is no different. As unpopular as it might be to say, soaps might not be the right venue for a Kish type story.  It isn’t why people tune into soaps.  I think Frank made a bold decision in axing Kish.  I don’t know if I would have made that decision, but I applaude him for trying to save his show.  It has become clear to me in the past few days that those who have loved OLTL for the past 6 months or so only loved it for one reason. 

    One final comment…while I do think that the overkill of this story did have some affect on the ratings, there are way bigger problems then them, and at the top of that list would be Rex and Gigi, so if Frank isn’t going to at least greatly reduce their airtime, then this move to try and help the show is a moot point. 

    OK, bash away.

  2. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003

    Nelson, can you give us the scoop on the Soapgeist what is going on with OLTL dumb decision to get rid of  the best actors and keep the crappy ones that fans hate?  We all want to know.

    PS, brillant post, Jamey.  I with you.  Except for Gina and Florencia and the vets, I won’t be watching the show.  It sucks bad.

  3. Profile photo of WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

     Jamey, thank you for linking to dontputkishinthecloset . blogspot . com.  I tweeted it to you this morning, so I’m glad you found it! 

    Cannot agree more with your article.  It’s sickens me that ABCDumba**es decided to cave in to WTF ever "mainstream audiences" wanted and took all the diversity out of their most diverse soap opera.  And to think that OLTL might get a GLAAD award after this complete doublef***!  

    I can’t watch this show anymore unless I know Kyle and Oliver will be on.  And I’ve watched on and off for YEARS now. I came back primarily because I got sucked into Kyle and Oliver’s romance play out on YouTube (and Cris and Layla)    There is something so dirty and skeevy about this situation, and I can’t really stomach OLTL, especially after mid-April.  Which is probably why I’m so damn angry about it!  But thank you for voicing what I’m feeling about K/O and losing the Evans family.

  4. Profile photo of shanejm

    Well Said!  I think this is a horrible decision for OLTL to make and after 17 years of watching it I will be saying good-bye to it once Fish and Kyle leave.  The show is nothing but a shell of it’s former self.  None of the characters who have been here for years even look regignizable! The stories lack…story!  I’d rather see a puppet play some of the roles because they would do better then some of the actors.  Fish and Kyle were the best part of the show in a few years.  So bye OLTL and bye ABC! 

  5. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003

    The problem I have with this firing and many others is that tiic are blaming kish for the ratings woes and we all know that that is not the cause of falling ratings:  Rigi, Stacy, John, mitch cartoon villain.  This is the one nail in OLTL’s coffin.

  6. Profile photo of sunnydays25

    Hallelujah and right on!! 

       If I, a 44 yr old, married mom of 2, 30+  yr viewer is their "mainstream" viewer…then I am deeply ashamed that they made myself and other viewers like me their scapegoat for this heinous decision

  7. Profile photo of sudsmuffin

    Kitty, I agree with your post.  I am disappointed that OLTL decided to pull the plug on Kish.  Overall, I enjoyed their story, although I think they went a bit OTT with Dorian pretending to be gay to win the election, but one storyline does not a show make.  I tuned in right before Kish began and watched with interest for a while.  But I quickly grew tired of the Todd pimping show guest-starring Rex, Gigi and Stacy.  The Mitch Lawrence stuff didn’t help.  To put the blame on Kish for the show’s low ratings is not fair by any means, but Nov. sweeps was the Kish story and it wasn’t a ratings boom.  So clearly not everyone was in such awe over Kish as the soap press was.  Still there’s many characters I would’ve cut before Kish, Sky and Rachel.  I wish Scott, Brett, Daphne, and Scott C. the very best.

  8. Profile photo of BG

    I agree with Jamey Giddens.

    To add to that, I am trouble by the character Rachel being written off as well.

    It seems Fish brought the show mainstream publicity, so the logic is lost on me. I would say though, I thought all the praise lavish on OLTL particularly by the DC crew was unwarranted.

    I think it in 2009 it was Damm good not the best, GH and most certainly YR is my favorites.

    I do believe though that AMC is making vast improvements and at the moment better than OLTL and utilizes the African american chartacters better than any other soap at the moment.

    The Hubbards have a storyline, it may not be the best but they have one, and they are family focused which i like. The weakest link is the Randi character

  9. Profile photo of Scooter Smith
    Scooter Smith

    kitty, I understand your frustration with the idea that one person or couple does not a show make. However, I do take issue with your claiming that we are done with a soap because Kish is done. The issue is that they are also getting rid of Rachel, Schuyler, and Kim and pushing ridiculous stories and bad acting over these great stories and wonderful actors.

    Now I happen to agree that Daytime is primarily for stay at home moms and grandmas that have conservative values, and therefore the idea of a gay couple and a progressive black family isn’t what they have been watching for the last 30 years. So getting rid of those types of people and stories, while not being politically correct, may be economically efficient.

    Think back to a year ago, and you will remember that the only black character was Layla, and Stacy wasn’t so prevalent yet, and Kyle and Fish hadn’t run into each other yet, and DC was still saying this was the best show people weren’t watching, so I take offense on behalf of the site and its dedicated bloggers, for calling their "spiel" agenda driven.

    Thanks for your opinions, and my intention is not to bash, but to discuss.

  10. Profile photo of sandylporter

    Thank you so much for this article and the link to the "Don’t Put Kish the the Closet" campaign.  Wonderfully said.

    I have been watching One Life for years but never found the pull to a story as I did with Kyle and Fish.  What a beautiful story just discarded for no real reason.

    I don’t know who this mainstream America is, but you can’t tell me this critically acclaimed couple was the reason for low ratings.  I think the amount of disappointment we are seeing all over the web speaks to that. 

    I hope our voices combine to show them what a truly big mistake they made here.

  11. Profile photo of ABCJunky73

    Well said Jamey!! I have stuck by OLTL in all my 36 years on earth, been there for some of the best storylines (Karen Wolick on the stand, Megan’s death, Marty’s Gang rape, Dorian and Vicki) and some of the most stupidest storylines (Eterna, Clint going back to 1888, the Santi’s) but this is just a pure slap in the face to the legacy of OLTL! Angus Nixon should be "Hotter than Hell" right now for what TPTB is doing to her soap! I cherish this soap, OLTL has a special place in my heart because me & my mother (who passed in 97) watched it faithfully. It was the one show that we both got excited about every M-F ! Now, I still watch OLTL, but I FF thru alot of it! The Kish storyline was the only true storyline that I believe Agnes Nixon would go to bat for right now!

    Jamey, I wish you or Luke could have an interview with Agnes about how she feels about the Kish storyline being axed. This soap is a child to her. I think she should have a say-so on storylines. I don’t know if Frons is forcing FV to do this, but I feel bad for all the actors/actresses who have been let go recently. OLTL is looking so bad right now, and it’s a shame. I don’t know if I can stomach anymore of the story killing that is going on. I’m starting to lose faith in OLTL, it’s just not the same anymore. 

  12. Profile photo of kitty

    Scooter, I am talking about the comments I have read that say "when Kish go, I go" as well as what Jamey said in his post about having to re-think supporting OLTL if they blame one couple for the ratings.  I do believe that some are done with OLTL just because of Kish and as they haven’t been on a lot now, how much are those people really watching??

    I was not a Kim fan, but I know many people were, but she chose to leave (and cannot blame her).  Schuylar was nothing but a Rex and Gigi obstacle and had an expiration date the second he stole the drugs for Stacy.  As for Rachel, while her storyline sucked, and I found her boring, I do think she would have been given another chance.  My point is, no one seems up in arms about the show until the Kish firings.

    As for as my calling their "spiel" agenda driven, the fact that many who were giving OLTL kudos are now calling for their heads over this one move, I feel calling it agenda driven is valid.

    I care about well written characters I can root for played by actors who can hold my attention.  That is not what the Evans’ were.  What should matter is how interesting a character is, not what color their skin is.  The Evans were boring and Shaun and Destiny couldn’t act their way out of a paper bag. 

    OLTL tried new things….they didn’t work.  I thought ABC gave up on saving OLTL, but Frank clearly realizes his show is dying and is trying to save it, but it seems like some want it to die just because they aren’t getting what they want.

    Again, I do think Ron went too far with this story.  Instead of concentrating just on Kish, he got too preachy about gay marrige.  That isn’t why I watch soaps. 

  13. Profile photo of KishKishKish

    I’m done with OLTL ! Crazy Mitch, 8th grade Jessica and the daily Marasco & Balsom nighmare are to blame NOT Kish !  OLTL will be canceled soon, Frons should just pull the plug now.

  14. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003

    What s/ls does OLTL have to tell now?  We not going to see Viki in the front burner battling it out with Dorian, we going to have Sole 2.0, John McBore, Natalie being a wimpy willow, messica being a mess, Todd be made to look like a hero when we know he is a rapist, newbies that no one cares about so what to look forward to OLTL?  Nothing for on to watch now.

  15. Profile photo of Regan Cellura
    Regan Cellura

    STANDING O!!!!! I’m not a fan of any campaign that has viewers tuning out however in this case it is much more than your favorite couple being separated in favor of another pairing. It’s much more than a bad decision to kill someone off. This is actually offensive to an entire group of people and wake up ABC it’s 2010, if a gay couple is still not considered to hit home with your mainstream audience, you obviously have no clue who is watching your shows.

  16. Profile photo of east.west

    Great post Jamey. All one can learn from this is not get invested in gay stories on American soaps, b/c they have all been mismanage in some way. As dissapointed as I am w/this decision it is not going to make me stop watching b/c Kish is not the end all be all and the “bad stories” are the ones I am enjoying. Not to look down on the ppl who said they are done b/c you have every right, but for me I am invested in more than the ppl who are leaving even though they are great.

  17. Profile photo of SoapOperaFanatic

    The problem here is the mindset that daytime is for "stay at home moms and grandmas". They need to evolve and grow. The audience that used to watch these shows are getting older and they are not getting the new younger audience. Those "stay at home moms and grandmas" are not what the networks want. A soap could have a 5.0 rating in viewers over 50 and that would not save the show from being swiftly axed because they did not have enough 12-30 year old viewers.
      I think that the axing of Kish and Rachel is a disaster for a multitude of reasons. The first being is that everytime a soap tries to go out of the box they squash it and go back to the same old ideas of the past. What they need to realize it that there are no "gay" storylines. There are storylines that reflect life and storylines that are more outlandish. Being gay or being black is not a storyline it is a facet in someones life.   I find it insulting when soaps say they can’t write for gays or blacks (or asians or any other culture that is not represented). They just need to write from the heart or write the stories that they would write for any other character. Kish could do the same things that Bo, Nora, Vicki, Todd etc. do. I don’t see what is so difficult about this concept seeing as many of these showrunners and writers are gay themselves. I am also tired of hearing that the prudes can’t stand seeing two people of the same sex kiss or have sex on soaps. I mean it is not like you are seeing the steamy love scenes of the 80’s. It is mostly kisses and afterglow. GET OVER IT! If you can watch someone cheat, get married 10 times, switch paternity results, murder and get away with it, sleep with their family members (even if you don’t know that you are related) etc. you can deal with watching people of the same sex show affection!

  18. Profile photo of bub7991

     Brett Claywell’s last day on OLTL is mine watching OLTL – 
     I am done with ABC Daytime…

     Frons is not going to stop until he kills this show…period.

  19. Profile photo of SoapOperaFanatic

    Oh and by the way…Kitty..if you look back on this site I believe there were many posts about OLTL going downhill before Jamey stated he was upset about OLTL axing Kish and maybe not being able to a cheerleader for the show anymore. The downhill trend started several months ago….

  20. Profile photo of rebecca

    What i find stupid about this is  2 of ABC’s soaps (OLTL & G.H) are at the bottom of the ratings and the one thing these  shows have in common is they seem to promote violence and their  "heros" are either cop-killers & rapists  but ABC thinks that the  ONLY gay couple they have on daytime is the reason the ratings are down? How stupid are they?

  21. Profile photo of BG

    All of these people are complaining, then simply stop watching folks. There are options.

    I suspect most of you will continue to watch and complain.

  22. Profile photo of Kavin

    WELL FREAKIN SAID Jamey! I am so so glad and grateful that you wrote this. You have no idea how much. I have been a faithful and longtime viewer of OLTL since the early 90’s. I have seen so many beloved characters come and go, but NEVER have I been more riled up, hurt, angry, and depressed over an exit as I am over Kish’s. It has really affected me, and stirred emotions in me, in ways that even surprised myself. It may sound sooo cheesy to say this, but it honestly feels like I have been betrayed by a trusted friend, which is what this soap has been to be for so many years now. A place of comfort and escape, while at the same time injecting some sense of reality into their characters that I have always felt I could relate to. But with this disastrous news and I would go as far as to say homophic decision on the TPTB’s part, it has not only caused me to re-evaluate my feelings towards OLTL  but towards the ENTIRE genre in general.  I mean, why must I give up hours of my day, time and LIFE, supporting a genre that uses my sexuality as a scapegoat and doesn’t respect it enough to continue depicting it in the regular canvas of their shows? That being said, and I may sound like a total hypocrite saying this, but I will continue to watch, since I have invested so much of my life into these soap operas as a longtime viewer, since I was basically a child. But let’s just say that my eyes have now been FULLY OPEN to the blatant stupidity and bigotry that these execs are capable of, and I can now see why so many people look down on soaps and why it is always seen as the bottom of the barrel. I can no longer defend this industry to my friends and loved ones, who constantly wonder how I keep watching soaps in the first place, because I now feel like I have been slapped in the face and can no longer have a leg to stand on, when it comes to telling people why they should give daytime a chance in the first place. Anyway, since we all know that OLTL is basically the lowest rated soap and is in danger of being cancelled, I would have rathered that it went out on top as being the diverse, multi-faceted, SMART daytime drama we always felt it was, rather than copping out and sacrificing their most popular and most talked about couple, on the SLIM, chance that it would help it’s ratings, because honestly the fact that KISH will soon be gone from the canvas hurts more to me than the show being cancelled down the road. I hope Frons and Valentini are happy with their decisions because I most certainly am NOT, and I know I am not alone, so I think it’s time we make our voices HEARD.

  23. Profile photo of Cornfed

    Kitty, all of your comments aren’t off-base, some are on-target. But to say this show didn’t still feature EVERYONE in its cast, is a blatant lie.  I mean Viki can’t be on 24/7, neither can Dorian, but they did have Dorian front and center for the past several months.  I too thought the campaign manager stuff was overkill and that the mayor story was botched a bit, but i thought the BIGGEST problem was not going ALL-OUT and promoting this story.  Only THEN do you know who’s to truly blame.  

    I have not been a lifetime OLTL viewer, but i did tune in during Marcie’s serial killer story a few years ago but stopped watching when they broke up HANDS-DOWN the best couple i’d seen in ages, John and Evangeline.  My b/f and i both think that DESTINY (and her big purse) was one of the most captivating characters seen in a LLLONG time, so i’m not hating on seeing new characters. But i went on record saying that IF the show had to cancel KISH to stay on air, i would support them.  But i do NOT think John and Nat or Rex and Gigi are going to bring big ratings to this show. Everyone’s got their opinions what works and what doesn’t.  I want CAPTIVATING characters, and i don’t care what color or sexuality they are. When KISH fought, it seemed like 2 real living breathing people fighting.  But i’ll hang in there w/OLTL and hope they don’t let me down.

  24. Profile photo of josser


    Dorian Lord has been lying and cheating to get her way since the character appeared on our screens almost 40 years ago.  Dorian’s lies weren’t excused.  That’s Dorian.

    There have been hundreds of characters in soaps who have lied to get their way for good or bad purposes.  Raising the red flag because a couple of characters are gay is hypocritical. 

  25. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott

    Thanks for writing this. I think Mitch (nothing against Roscoe Born cuz he has always been a hot daddy in my opinion) being written the way he was turned people off along with Stacy.

    The end of Kish upsets me in so many ways. OLTL picked up where Nuke left off. Nuke is beyond ruined. Kish was our second chance. And it was great while it lasted.

    I am just disgusted.

  26. Profile photo of Cornfed

    soapfan75, you think the ratings are down b/c of Florencia?  She’s one of the best actresses i’ve seen!  are you in some secret focus group?  Boooooo

  27. Profile photo of harlee490

    U said it Jamey, you wrote exactly what I’m feeling, I started back watching OLTL again because of buzz of Kish over a year ago.  Kitty made some good points also about OLTL and networks don’t listen to fans anymore, they haven’t for years.   It’s time to say it OUT loud OLTL is next on the chopping block and I think in everyone’s heart we know this is true.

  28. Profile photo of kishaholic

    i totaly agree with Jamey and SoapOperaFanatic!  Kish is the only reason i ever tuned in.  Some people can watch all the other heinous stuff but cant watch a couple who are in love and go through hurdles like every other couple?

  29. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    Brian Frons has been drinking the same Kool-Aid that Les Moonves (CBS head of daytime) has been drinking, and he seems to have become indifferent!!!!

    I honestly don’t think that good writing is enough to save daytime anymore!! The Brian Frons’s of the networks are simply too greedy!! They want too much, expect too much and really don’t seem to care about soap operas at all!!!

    They care about making money, and that’s it!! I feel the same thing applies to most of the executive producers!! They are simply lapdogs who are desperate to keep their jobs and their GROSSLY EXCESSIVE paychecks!!! I used to blame the head writers, but it seems like writing for daytime is the equivalent of getting beaten up everyday at work and being forced to come in the next day to continue the torture. It seems that they basically take away all the creative urges and concepts that many of these writers have, forcing them to write predictable and uninspiring stories that the audience ends up hating. How many possible good stories end up getting shot down by the heads of the networks??? I shudder to think. I am sure that Ron C. has been creatively stifled as well!!

    It’s sad because OLTL is proving to be a sinking ship just like GL and ATWT!! Whenever a storyline is introduced that people respond positively to, it is ended too quickly…..next, I am sure the production values will decline as was the case with GL and ATWT!! Then, it’ll be a countdown to cancellation. I hope I am wrong, because I don’t want to lose another soap, but I fear that I am right unless some major changes are made now!!


  30. Profile photo of sillytee

    i think what jamet is trying to say is that the Kish turnaround is the straw that broke the camel’s back. ive been listening to the podcasts for a while and although they do praise OLTLm luke, jamey and the rest have declared their dislike for certain storylines and acting even before the whole gay wedding fiasco. so i don’t think it’s is just Kish that has them riled up. although i do think it is sad that people will stop watching just because of this. i believe it is the people who started watching because of Kish in the first place..and i don’t blame them..

  31. Profile photo of SoapFan75


    Yes I do, she has been featured on the show a gazillion times more than Kyle and Fish.  Featured even more so then fan favorites Viki and Dorian since she came back in November. 

    And no I am not part of some "secret focus group."

  32. Profile photo of Llanview76

    This Kish kabash does toy with the legacy of Agnes Nixon’s creation. ONE LIFE TO LIVE was steeped in controversey back in the late 60’s, early 70’s when Ellen Holly came on the show to play the part of light skinned African-American Carla Gray, who was passing for white. An ABC affiliate in Texas dropped the show from their schedule completely. Whether or not the impact of the reveal at that time in history that Carla Gray was African-American, and did have an African-American mother named Sadie, and African-American lovers named Price and Ed; not to mention a caucasian lover named Jim, nobody ever wrote her off within a year. In fact the Gray/Hall family were around for at least 15 years of ONE LIFE’s story. I was so happy to be watching the current show that had one of, if not the most diverse canvas in daytime. Granted they were a large cast but that helps keep things constantly interesting. Not only did we have the waspy wealthy core families, but they in turn were being revitalized by the balanced interaction with African-Americans, Latino-Americans, Protestants, Jewish, straights, gays, young, old, thin and not so thin. My only gripe was we had no Asian-Americans…but for the vast majority, we had ONE LIFE TO LIVE. I do not want to pretend I know what’s going on behind the scenes there, but this is just wrong. ONE LIFE TO LIVE was created with very honorbale intentions and it’s sad that diversity isn’t cherished anymore.

  33. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    Siomonstuart 2003—–

    Again, thanks for the support!! People probably have the misconception that writing for a soap opera is a glamorous job where you are allowed to be creative and write stories that YOU are passionate about, but I feel that nothing could be further from the truth. You have ACTORS, NETWORK HEADS and PRODUCERS micromanaging the hell out of you, being forced to perform COUNTLESS revisions and having to deal with arrogant actors—-who I am sure want to run the show, when they should really just remember that their primary job is to ACT—-and then trying to satisfy fans!!!

    That’s why I’m sure so many writers either leave the industry (like Claire Labine), become novelists (like Michael Malone!) or just venture off on their own (like Pamela Long!) because you seem to have very little freedom. In the 80s and 90s, I am sure things were better, but nowadays, a soap opera head writer seems to be little more than a robot who gets paid to follow orders and be a glorified "yes man" or "yes woman"!! Couldn’t pay me enough to do it!!!!

  34. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott

    Amen Alstonboy!

    Like Michael Malone once said after he left OLTL when you write for daytime you are on a tightrope and you have people on both sides shaking the ends (that would be the network, P&G, focus groups, etc.) trying to get you to fall off.

    That about says it all.

    I wouldn’t want to be a daytime headwriter either. Hell to the no.
    Maybe 10 or 20 years ago when you were actually able to write.

  35. Profile photo of kitty

    Dorian’s lies were excused by other characters because of the agenda she was pushing.  She was viewed by Nick and the campaign manager to be "good" because she was helping the gay agenda.  Ron’s writing was very heavy handed, if you did not support gay marriage 100% you were viewed to be a bigot and that simply isn’t the case, imo.  If you didn’t want to pretend to be gay, you were evil. A more compelling storyline would have been to have characters who supported gay rights, but have religous issues with gay marriage.  Are those people evil bigots??  The problem was with how the story was written. The mayoral story was promoted orginally as a story about Dorian vs. Viki.  Early on, it was clear that wasn’t going to be the case.  So instead of getting a story many viewers would have enjoyed, it turned into something completely different with Viki barely a part of it. 

  36. Profile photo of appleridge

    ABC Daytime Needs A President That Is collaborative With Their Writers & Producers.

    This Is Not a Monarchy Damnit

    As For complaining We all Have the right as we do to praise when we see fit

    oLTL does some stories well but blamming kish for the ratings what about 5 days a week of Stacy & Certain actors phoning in their roles because of their disdain for that story

    Then they constantally try and make Todd a tortured Hero He is not. Todd should not have women wanting him but they do.

    Mitch going cartoonish and wanting to rape his daughter

    Okay those are acceptable to mainstream but a loving committed, Honest real relationship that just happens to be between Kyle & Oliver is too taboo?

    Im Calling BS

    ABC needs to stop making decisions based on 12 folks at a focus group and just get back to what makes great soap and Kish was one of those

  37. Profile photo of Beth

    I’m going to ask an admittedly naive question, but I have to ask because I honestly don’t know the answer – is this decision coming from Frons and the hierarchy, or the show runners?  My gut instinct says Frons, because I have a favorable bias towards Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati, but also because they have always seemed quite happy with this Kish pairing and the story they are telling.  But if Jamey or anyone could enlighten me, I would appreciate it.

  38. Profile photo of soapster

    What else is OLTL suppose to think when this site and the rest of the soap press was lauded then to high heaven claiming them the best soap and proclaiming Ron the savior.  To them the stories they were telling was good, so the reason for the low ratings can’t be them or their stories it must be the gay couple and the blacks.

    When fans were trying to point out the weakness of the stories lines, the lack of character driven storylines, they horrible way that females are portrayed most on this site was praising the storylines and cheering on the characters, making excuses for the low ratings blaming lack of promotion.  Maybe if there would have been some honest critiquing of the show in the soap press the storylines would have been stronger.

    I like the Kish romance but it was a small part in the bigger gay movement that OLTL undertook and when some on us complained about it we we called homophobes, etc. The entire gay marriage was insulting and foolish but your protected it, Layla never really have a voice in Fish’s coming out was a wasted moment and could have drawn many of mainstreamers over to the cause.  The your evil if you don’t support gay rights was overplayed.

    Yet this is just one storyline each and every storyline on the show had problems but they were overlook and nothing but shouts of this show is the best was being screamed from this board, so yes tbtp are not going to blame themselves why should they.

    Look at what we are left with Todd the studd, a John and Nat redux, Gigi and Rex, teen-Jessica and a new high school musical, not one of these storylines are compelling or worth watching which is why no one is watching this show.

    Do you really want to know why no one is watching this show because it wasn’t and isn’t as good as it was being proclaimed to be by this site and viewers aren’t stupid if they aren’t liking what they are seeing they are not going to watch.  It is not our good to keep this show on the air, it is the show’s job to entertain us so that we want to watch it.

  39. Profile photo of Bourgeois Nerd
    Bourgeois Nerd

    Besides maybe Viki and Dorian, there are no characters that are "essential" to the show.  What I think many, and if I would be so bold as to speak for him, Jamey included, object to is not entirely that they’re canning a popular and groundbreaking gay couple with a large fanbase and mainstream attention.  That’s bad enough, but it’s only the latest in several weeks worth of firings and leavetakings that show that ABC has decided to go back to the same-old-same-old, to hoary soap staples where everyone’s white and straight and apple pie.  How boring.  How disappointing.  How stupid.  If soaps could survive on that, they wouldn’t be in the mess they’re in now.  It’s disgust at this that has many of us upset; Kish are the match on the dried grass. 

    I’m sure a lot of people who say they will stop watching after Kish is gone are entirely sincere.  Others are probably just mad and will end up (grudgingly) continuing once their tempers have cooled.  Some will stick with the show through thick and thin because they always have.  None of these reactions are invalid or wrong.  At the end of the day, this is entertainment, and if you’re not being entertained, why bother?  I gave up GH because I couldn’t stand it anymore, and I don’t regret it, nor do I begrudge those who continue to watch and enjoy it.

    Like the DC crew, I’m a big OLTL booster and RC fanboy.  I admit it.  To claim there have been no mistakes, and that it’s all Frons’s fault (though Viki Lord knows I want to) would be uncritical.  But the fact is that most nights I sit down to watch OLTL and am entertained, whether or not Kish is on or not.  That’s all I can ask for, and that’s what I get.  I will continue to watch the show after these departures, to give it a chance and see where they go.  If it stops entertaining me like GH did, then, with a heavy heart, I will stop watching it.  If RC can entertain me with whitebread, and it has been done and I think he’s capable of doing it, then I will applaud him.  But how much more could it be with diversity?  That’s the question.  A good salad has many ingredients, not just lettuce and tomatoes.  Lettuce and tomatoes can be GOOD, but never as good as something with carrots and cucumbers and a nice dressing.  That’s what ABC is losing; they’ve obviously never made a salad.

  40. Profile photo of ltk

    I honestly don’t recognize OLTL as the same show that I started watching last summer specifically for the Kish storyline.  I’m most angered by these statements that "no one came to OLTL for Kish" or "mainstream  audiences are fleeing OLTL because of KISH".  Those are stereotypical nonsense.   I came to OLTL because of Kish and I didn’t flee it even when I was subjected to other storylines that I disagree with.

    And the show with diversity that I came to love last year is now retreating to some vanilla looking boring mess that I can easily find elsewhere.

  41. Profile photo of At50

    " first being is that everytime a soap tries to go out of the box they squash it and go back to the same old ideas of the past. What they need to realize it that there are no "gay" storylines. There are storylines that reflect life and storylines that are more outlandish. Being gay or being black is not a storyline it is a facet in someones life."

    I agree. Its that time of thinking that you are talking about that makes it difficult for writers to present minorites as multifaceted individuals.

    As I said in the other thread. While there may be people out there who are against these tyopes of stories there have been stories with gay character with more screentime then Kyle and Fish that have not harmed the ratings. To assume that any recent ratings downfall must be due to them is just plain dumb and fails to take into account the quality of the show overall as well as the longterm trend of soaps losing ratings.

  42. Profile photo of dkp

    Great writeup Jamey. I don’t see how they have evidence that Kish are sole to blame for the ratings issues they had. They are a b story on maybe once or twice a week. How about looking at the main stories that are on everyday instead? 

    And ABC/Soapnet’s article is such a spin peice. How can they talk about the GLAAD awards they won, how groundbreaking Kish is, and how they connected to viewers, yet still write them out and tease "they could be back"? How about not writing them out to begin with? 

    There are only two gay couples in daytime, one was already slated to end cause the show canceled, now with this news, soon their wont be any. Gays wont exist in daytime anymore .That is such a travesty and blow to all the progress made.

  43. Profile photo of samanthadelayed

    Very good points, Jamey.
    I will say I was disappointed that the Kish storyline didn’t get better ratings, which really just makes me disgusted with society on a whole, but that is a different story.

    I did say on the other thread that I am not going to stop watching OLTL because of this decision. I have too much emotionally invested at this point to do that. I bet this is breaking R.C’s heart to do this. I blame Frons.

    I really wish Amanda Setton and Kish were going to be on the canvass for years to come, but  I am not too upset about the other choices that are being made. Never cared for Rachel, I have always found her kind of boring, the actress is good, but they never gave her the material. As for Scott Clifton, I hope he goes back to GH. Sky is not working for me.

  44. Profile photo of savioy

    Wonderful article and well-spoken.
    I really disappointed about ABC taking out of KISH from the One Life To Live. Does the show really care of the fans how they feel? Is it why the soap business dying becasue the superiors of running the show ingnore what people or fans want but what the exes lilke?
    Just very upset about this whole ABC daytime "so-wrong" decision…. =(

  45. Profile photo of brightongirl

    Thank you Jamey.  Excellent article.  I went away from daytime for a long while after giving up in disgust with General Hospital.  I came back after a friend showed me a clip of Kish.  I was blown away by the actors and the story line.  Not the fact that the couple was gay.  That wasn’t the point to me.  I happily added the show to my dvr and raced home each day to watch the show.  The whole show.  But after a bit, I found myself fast forwarding through all this stupid Mitch Lawrence stuff and shaking my head at the fact that interesting characters like Layla were no where to be found…at all.

    That being said…I represent that audience they wanted…you know, in the age bracket, married and employed with money to spend on the products their advertisers were hawking.  But, when the last Kish episode airs, that will be the last day in Llanview for me.  And I really don’t care if that sounds hypocritical to others, it’s incredibly insulting to me that they would pander to a "focus group" and continue to push horrible Todd, Ford and Mitch down our throats – giving them an almost romantic aura…that’s just a wonderful message to women.  It’s okay if they abuse you, because they are good looking and misunderstood.  When a loving, committed couple is written off.  That makes zero sense to me.

  46. Profile photo of SoapOperaFanatic

    I wish I could be as strong as the rest of you and stop watching these shows that I grew up on. I am like a crack addict when it comes to the genre that I fell in love with as I was growing up. The thought of their being no more continuing daytime dramas is enough to make me watch and enjoy that fact that these shows still exist. I know we as a group spend a lot of time being critical but if we did not love this genre with all of our hearts and souls then DC and the shows would just fade away. 

  47. Profile photo of cheryl85

    Jamey, you are awesome.  Thanks!

    This heartbreak reminds me of my Degrassi days when Paige and Alex were popular, and Degrassi cut the couple a loose in season 7, episode 3.  Message boards were upset because prior to season 7, the last several episodes of season 6 were mostly Palex-centric.  Not to mention they made so many improvements in the Alex character then that was thrown in the water.  While the actress that played Alex wanted to go on to greener pastures, she had said in a podcast she didn’t mind staying longer so as long it wasn’t past season 7.  Once she left, I watched the reminder of the season and haven’t watched Degrassi much since then. 

    So, for me, I definitely feel the heart break of hardcore Kish fans right now.  I have been there. 

  48. Profile photo of jsg03jd

    OLTL is done.  Why ABC Daytime today can’t stand up to the bigots as their predecessors did during the Carla Gray storyline in the 1960s speaks volumes about how ABCD views diversity on its one soap where it actually exists.  KISH exiting coupled with the Evanses is too much.  So, kudos to those who can continue to support the show.  I can’t.  

  49. Profile photo of wbl_amc

    AMEN. I started watching OLTL after hearing all the praise for it from DC. I watched faithfully starting last May, even putting Oltl before my Amc which i had been watching for almost 8 years. Oltl had me hook line and sinker up untill about December. Then I started to lose interest as PLOT took presidence over character. Mitch Lawrence running around trying to rape his daughter and scrambling her brains was NOT GOOD SOAP. I’m sorry if i wanted to watch that i’d just stick to Amc during that time cause Pratt could do that crap just fine.

    I’m sorry Oltl but the huge pile of reasons to stop watching you (No Setton, Evans, Claywell, Clifton, Duplaix) out weighs the reasons to watch (?) (High school Jessica, pregnant Marty, Rex & Gigi 2.0 ). Sorry but looks like I’m back to my solo soap Amc, afterall everyone is coming back home to Amc right? Stupid promos lol

  50. Profile photo of celticbelle

    THANK YOU JAMIE…you said everything every Kish fan wanted to say…this is a complete travesty and i’m speaking as a loNgtime middle aged female viewer of the show…Kish may have many gay followers but i would venture to say that the majority of their fans are straight female like me..due to the gorgeous Brett Claywell and Scott Evans who made us fall in love with kish….this has been the sweetest most romantic love story i have ever seen in all my years of watching soaps thanks to the absolutely amaziing chemistry between Brett and Scott..the sad part of all this is that these wonderful actors have put ther hearts and souls into this story and their committment to it is truly inspiring….this is shabby treatment by ABC of these talented actors and they deserved better and so did their fans….they need to rethink this decision before they lose more viewers…..DE


  51. Profile photo of beth_jane

    Thank you for expressing what this so-called "mainstream" viewer (i.e. straight woman, 18-49,, stay-home mom) has been thinking. I have been incredibly touched by this couple and this story, more than I have been in over twenty years of watching soaps, and it feels like I’ve been kicked in the gut.

  52. Profile photo of Beth



      Aren’t EP Frank, and HW Ron both gay too? It almost seems like it’s a story they would want to tell longer if they could.


    Thanks, Erik. I didn’t know one way or the other about their sexual orientation, but I see where you’re coming from, so I appreciate the information.  Just to go on record, I’m also one of those "coveted demos" that was really, really enjoying the Kish story, and I find this to be one of the most cowardly things that a network could do, 

  53. Profile photo of Frons-n-GuzaSuck

    I couldnt agree more Jamey.

    They are simply looking for a scapegoat so they are blaming it on a storyline that really has never been written the right way until now.

    The truth is the show which I have also praised since Ron took over as head writer has not been the same since the Mitch return. It became heavily plot driven instead of character driven. They did a bad job of bringing him back on the canvas and have made him too cartoonish, watching John get hot and bothered anytime a womans life has fallen apart lost its appeal a few years ago, they abruptly ended Todd and Tea for no reason, and they did that horrible Dorian pretends to be a lesbian storyline (Which was the real problem of that story not Fish coming out).

    I also have a feeling these firings have to do with Frank possibly getting ready for the cancellation of OLTL and him wanting to keep it centered on the core characters which is why all the newbies are getting tossed out.
    Reuniting Jolie, Bora back together, Clint/Viki seem to be happening now that Charlie is out of the picture and A.S. is leaving, Todd is trying to make Blair Jealous with Kelly for no reason since it was made pretty clear last year that Todd is over Blair and was crazy in love with Tea but now he and Tea broke up for no reason and he and Blair are thrown back into each others orbit for the endgame, and now they ruined Sky to clear the way for Rex and Gigi to reunite. Plot over character is the reason this show is sucking.

    I’m just explaining this to those that say that people are only saying that OLTL sucks because Kish is being written out. Losing Kish is definitely part of the reason that OLTL is losing steam but there are many other problems with this show (See above).

  54. Profile photo of Nat Guy
    Nat Guy

    Great post as usual Jamey.  As a gay viewer I feel like ABC Daytime, Brian Frons specifically,  has just slapped me in the face.  They really seem to be saying that I don’t matter and that gay people shouldn’t have a voice in daytime.  I’ve waited years (since Billy Douglas) for a well written fully formed gay storyline on this show and I was so happy when Kish came on the scene.  I’m thankful that Ron got to tell their story and that they were treated (most of the time) like every other straight couple.  And I hate that I won’t get to see what happens next for them.  There was so much story potential there.  Having said all that, though, I’m not going to stop watching the show.  I’ve been a viewer for 20 years and like another poster said I’m too emotionally invested.  I love OLTL (warts and all) and when I sit down to watch I’m genuinely entertained.  Some of the storylines/characters (17 again Jessica, Rigi, and sleazy Ford) aren’t the best, but the good out weighs the bad for me.  I hate Frons and what he’s done to my show, but I won’t let him run me off.  He may not care about me as a viewer, but I care deeply for OLTL….as cheesy as that may sound. 

  55. Profile photo of Kishmet Lily
    Kishmet Lily

    I have been a casual viewer of OLTL for 25 years. When I happened to turn it on back on 12/30/09 during the holiday break from work, I was floored by the amazing love story playing on my screen. I swear I sat there with my jaw hanging open through the entire thing. I immediately went onto YouTube to catch up on what I had missed with the KISH story and set my DVR to record all. It was the most beautifully written love story I’d seen in a long time on a soap, and I was thrilled. I came to the party enthusiastically (converting everyone I knew in the process) with my heart on my sleeve and a box of tissue in my hand.

    Now I feel like the rug has been yanked out from underneath me. I understand that characters come and go. I have basically watched all the soaps off and on through the years. But have it make sense. The actor chooses to leave for greener pastures, the character has been written into a corner, the character is killed off for a dramatic storyline, I get it.

    What has me so PO’d regarding this is the way it is being handled. The TVGuide article that broke the news stated that the characters didn’t resonate with mainstream viewers and were blamed for low ratings. Within 24 hours they were stating the exact opposite on SoapNet. The characters were fan favorites, garnered lots of press and awards and resonated with audiences. I’m sorry but it can’t be both.

    The head writer, who is a gay man, has stated that they finished telling the story they wanted to tell. Seriously? That’s all you’ve got. You seem to have no problem coming up with storylines for the resident rapist or the bible spouting psychopath or the two lead female characters who have been on the show 30+ years (no slam intended – love them both – but after 30 years what’s left that they haven’t done?). But for Kyle and Oliver you couldn’t even come up with a year’s worth of material? I’m a heterosexual female, and I can do better than that. Aren’t you paid to be creative?

    And last but certainly not least, it is pretty apparent that Brett Claywell and Scott Evans weren’t told that they had been fired. They heard it from their fans on twitter after the TVGuide article came out. So not cool dudes!! I realize the acting profession is nomadic and you can be fired at the drop of a hat but really? Was that necessary? After all the publicity these two have done for OLTL and KISH singing your praises that is just wrong on many levels.

    Sorry for the excessive rant but I’ve had a few days to sit and stew over this. I will stop watching OLTL when Kyle and Oliver disappear from my screen. I will go back to being a casual watcher dropping in a few times a year. It’s too bad since I am in the coveted 18-49 female demographic.

  56. Profile photo of KIsh4ever

    I am writing to express my disappointment, upset, sadness and anger towards ABC’s decision to axe Kyle/Oliver – Kish, Brett and Scott.

    I discovered Kish last November, and fell in love with them. They are the reason why i watch OLTL, and as from the moment they leave my screens, i’ll be leaving the show as a viewer (in the UK)

    I fell completely in love with the characters of Kyle and oliver, and the actors Brett and Scott. I am a straight woman in her early 30’s but Kyle’s story, his pain, loss and hurt over losing Oliver resonated with me, cause i think those are universal themes in relationships, who hasn’t felt the pain of lost love? It doesn’t matter if that love is between a woman and a man, a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, the emotions are the same. I know that there are many people out there who was touched by Oliver’s coming out story, the struggles he faced (and continues to face), how he overcame those feelings to become the man Kyle felt he always could be. The chemistry between Brett and Scott has been incredible to watch. Both actors have given the show some much needed publicity, and what other couple on the show have a whole internet webpage devoted to them, or have been internationality recognised? Certainly not obvious favourites like the never-ending Gigi/Re saga. For the record FF/JPL can’t act!!!!

    I can’t begin to tell you how angry i am that TPTB caved into the homophobic, bigoted idiots who are stopping America from moving forward and towards acceptance of gay/lesbian people. I think it’s a disgrace, and Fron/ABC should be ashamed of themselves. I thought that everyone involved in this storyline were committed to it, to showing a gay couple who existed in the same way as straight couples, ie they held down jobs, went to med school, had friends, had an apartment etc. Just when i thought America/ABC were taking steps forward, they’ve now taken about 1000 steps back!! It’s 2010, NOT 1903 for god sake!!!

    I also think the way the story was leaked to the press before the actors were informed is disgusting and disrespectful. Brett and Scott have done nothing but work hard, promote their storyline with such joy and emotion, and have put their heart and souls into making Kish a well-rounded couple who love each other deeply. Brett and Scott derserved so much better than this!!

    And as for the "kyle and Oliver will still live in Lainview, you just won’t see them onscreen" crap. That’s insulting to Brett, Scott and all us Kish fans who have supported them, invested in them, supported ABC, congratulated them for being *cough* courageous*cough* in their decisions regarding the couple.

    Frons you are a COWARD.

  57. Profile photo of Jardo
    Personally, I smell a rotton Frons in all of this. Frons has never liked gays and gay storylines, however he has always been very supportive of the Bianca lesbian storyline on AMC. People likely never thought Kish would take off like gangbusters like it did and become so popular, both nationally and internationally. That being said, we also know Frons does not like OLTL and does little to support it, whereas he is extremely supportive of GH and AMC.  (Just check out his Facebook page where he has GH and AMC down as favorite sites, yet OLTL is nowhere to be found).

    With AMC getting ready to reintroduce Bianca (via a new actress), I’m sure Frons wants this move to be extremely successful. What better way to make it successful than to get rid of the extremely popular Kish (the main competition) hoping that Kish viewers will go to AMC and support the new Bianca since it will be the only "gay" storyline left to watch. Firing Kish also rips the rug right out from under OLTL (which Frons doesn’t like anyway) thereby taking care of two birds with one stone. AND, to be able to profess their innocence in all this, it also gives ABC Disney the opportunity to say "We didn’t kill Kish because it was a gay storyline; otherwise, why would we do another lesbian storyline on AMC?"

    So, what we have is: Kish is gone! The Kish supporters likely will turn to AMC and the lesbian storyline (the only gay storyline left). AMC gets the Kish supporters over to their soap thereby increasing its viewership. Frons is ecstatic because he has put yet another "dagger" in OLTL which we all know he hates. OLTL struggles even more in the ratings because it just killed one of its most popular storylines and lost tons of new and returning viewers in the process. OLTL eventually dies!

    Does anyone else smell the same RAT I am smelling here?

    I can see no other reason why such a popular couple (Kish) who brought in huge numbers of new and returning viewers to OLTL would suddenly be killed off, without notice, from this dying soap when viewership is so critical for its survival. WTF??????

    Frank Valentini, did Mr. Frons just make a total IDIOT out of you, or did you do it all by yourself????

    AND, check out these coincidences:    Eden Riegel announced joining Y & R.  A day or two later, AMC announced they are bringing Bianca back (via a new actress).  And then a few more days later, KISH is KILLED!   Coincidence?  You be the judge. 

  58. Profile photo of Outspoken

    1) Kish Rocks!

    2) Kish Rocks!

    3) Kish Rocks!

    1) I want to see them bring SR home. I want to see Fish freaking out at every collicky scream, the first tooth, the baby rolling over, the baby sitting up, the baby rocking back and forth on all fours before finally making the first move forward. The baby holding on the table and using it to walk, the baby’s first steps and then the baby smashing everything she gets her little hands on.

    2) I want Kyle to reassure Fish that if he massages the baby’s belly in counter-clockwise direction, it will help to move the gas. Fish getting up for the 2 AM feedings. Kyle covering him and SR with a blanket when they are both so out of it from pacing that they fall asleep on the couch. The both of them taking photos of SR as she sleeps, rolls over on video, rocks back and forth on her hands and knees getting ready to crawl, Fish rushing about taking everything from the table because SR is just like her mama, can’t leave anything that is shiny alone, how Kyle beckons her to come to him while Fish holds her little hands, teaching her to walk……………

    3) The tears of being tired, joy, worry. The comfort of knowing there are always two extra loving hands to hold you or the baby when two hands aren’t enough, the discussions about who is spoiling the baby the most and the moments alone on the sofa, candle light and a sigh of contentment that they finally are able to just hold each other after a very busy day with their child.

  59. Profile photo of sunnydays25

    Llanview76…awesome post!  I loved that whole era of storytelling. The Carla Gray s/l, along with Karen Wolek on the witness stand and the dead of Megan are some of the most powerful stories told on OLTL

    Bourgeois Nerd…your salad analogy slayed me, and oh how true it is! The lack of diversity on many soaps, not just OLTL, are one of the very things that is wrong with the genre in general

    Let’s separate the Kish storline from the gay wedding disaster, shall we? They are two different issues. While it is true that this site has applauded the Kish pairing, it is a misnomer that they also whole-heartedly embraced the "gay wedding/Dorian is gay" s/l.  many posts and comments condemned that fiasco from the get-go.

    I will be leaving Llanview at the end of April. There just is not a s/l on air at this time that I care about and I don’t see anything changing in the near future. We have lost 4 great actors with the firing of Scott C, Daphne, Breet and Scott E. The handwriting is on the wall for us to lose the sublimely wonderful Brian Kerwin and Mark Lawson. If they do away with the Evans family, we lose Shenell (while keeping the oh so aggrevating Dan-yell-a character). Why would Tuc want to come back to the mess being made in Llanview?

    So, OLTL…keep trying to redeem Todd (because you have been having so much success in that arena all these years), good luck with your Marty/John/ Natalie triangle (or, if the rumors are true and you’re trying to lure Thorsten Kaye, a quardrangle with Patrick Thornheart), and god bless the mess that is Rex and Gigi (gag me)…and don’t forget to waste the wonderful Roscoe Born again down the road sometime.   It’s been fun while it lasted    :(

  60. Profile photo of tml

    meanwhile….just finished watching today’s show and supersleuth McBain practically had to be hit over the head to understand that Natalie was trying to say Marty was preggers…really?  I was laughing my head off.  This is the cop that can figure out a ton of stuff, but he couldn’t figure that out????  DUMB.

  61. Profile photo of BetseyD

    Ohhhh…  Kish, Kish, Kish!  How I was so looking forward to their upcoming storyline, especially after having to suffer through all of the Mitch Lawrence Bullshit!


    I am what TIIC would consider their "mainstream" audience.  I am a white, female, middle-aged (as much as I hate to admit that these days), home-maker – with two teen-aged boys, husband and pets living with me at home.  Granted, I do not live in the mid-west, BUT, I do live in Conservative New Hampshire, and I guess that, yes, I do consider myself a Conservative.  So –  I am their so-called, much sought-after, target "mainstream" demo for ratings, advertising etc…  I am one of the "chosen few" (I feel so special!) whose attention and business that the advertisers are so very eager to capture.

    O.K., now that that has been established, I am feeling a need to speak out here for all of us Mainstream People when I say that we are not A-okay with incest, rape, murder, grave robbing, etc..,  In fact, I was so disgusted with the whole Mitch Story-line that, for the first time ever, I found myself deleting episodes of OLTL from my DVR!  I also feel the need to say here that I find this whole "Teen Jessica" stupidity nothing short of ridiculous!  It is an insult to our intelligence to think that a High School would be o.k. with a mentally unstable (at best), 30-something, ADULT woman attending their school alongside innocent kids!  Moronic – but that is a whole long rant for yet another day!

    Anyway, to get back on topic here:  The KISH storyline was THE ONE that I have been patiently, patiently waiting to see unfold on this show.  I was so invested in seeing Kyle and Oliver fight GiGi tooth and nail for that baby, win the case, and then get to watch them deal with being a committed couple, two dads, to that little girl.  OH. MY. GOD!  I feel so horribly CHEATED!!!

    When I saw that story break, about KISH being dumped, I felt as though I had been punched in the stomach!  This Story-line was supposed to be my pay-off for putting up with OLTL’s horrific Sweeps Stories that I just had to suffer through.  The only other story that I was really interested in was Sky’s (Scott Clifton), due to the fact that I thought they were, maybe, going to be smart and pair him with Rachel AND reveal him to be Rex’s long-lost twin, or something to that effect.  Now, that is shot to Hell as well!

    I hate to say this, but I really do not have much reason to watch this show any longer!  I am mildly interested in John/Natalie, but other than that, I can’t think of any other stories right now that I am even remotely invested in.

    I know that this is Fronzie’s fine hand in charge of this whole mess, and I have to wonder what the real reason is for all of this.  I was wondering if they are participating in this character genocide because they are clearing the budget (so to speak), in order to hire talent from a couple of recently deceased Soaps?  If so – then they made a big, BIG mistake, because if they did this in order to hire someone like, say, Roger Howarth (The Real Todd – GMAFB!), or if this was done in order to pay someone like Gina Tognoni (sp?) the big bucks – then you are going to hear the explosion all the way from the Great Frozen North of New Hampshire!

    I am sorry for this rather lengthy rant, but, I think that you all can appreciate how I feel – and it helps to be able to write about it.  OLTL is going to end up losing too much of their audience over these recent firings (Evans, Claywell, Clifton & Duplaix), and all I can say is that, maybe, this will soften the blow when they are (inevitably) canceled. 

    With my favorite story-lines just dropped, I really have no more reason to watch this mess!

  62. Profile photo of amclight

     OLTL is sending a terrible message out there that mainstream viewers can’t
    tolorate gay storylines or gay characters long term. i don’t know of any gay
    character that has stayed a part of the canvas of a soap ( with exception of ATWT)
    current young gay characters. I thought times were a changing.
    All this misleading phraise and then done with the characters.
    Bad Move, Bad Timing, and BAD  messaage to sent out there.


    Stay on this Jamey and be a loud voice to be heard!

  63. Profile photo of days4ever

    I still think the show is really good and has some great characters but I am very upset they are letting Kish go with out a proper goodbye. They did the same thing with Lucas on Days. He just stopped being on the show one day with no exit and he still lives in town but they just don’t talk about him and he is never seen.
    Unless the show plans on bringing back some other characters for the ones it is losing or creating some new characters, I think they are making a huge mistake by getting rid of Kish, and Skylar too. While I never cared for Rachel I still think there was no reason to get rid of her character either. I think the ratings are going to drop and the show will fail. Maybe this is the plan to let she show sink so it gets canceled.

  64. Profile photo of spekeasy

    To be honest my only problem with the Kish storyline was it was between characters on the outside; they weren’t linked to the core of the show. If they were ever intended to be long lasting they should have had at least one of them integrated into a core family. This makes me wonder if the network was ever committed to telling this story. This is not the first time a soap has dropped a gay storyline, anyone else remember Kay on Y and R having a flirtation with another woman in the early eighties or is my mind playing tricks? One Life is not a show that tells good long lasting love stories they have no happily married couples . Years ago there used to be at least one long term couple on every show.

  65. Profile photo of md1347

    It gets even worse now. First it’s the poor ratings, then budget cuts and now it’s one of the actors was "partying too much" (according to the suds report). 

    I think it’s the budget cuts, what can we get rid of, masquerading as poor ratings  but they didn’t expect to get such a backlash. Now they are scrambling for some cover.

  66. Profile photo of md1347

    Watch the Michael Fairman video from a couple days ago with Brett and Scott… around 13:13 minutes in Brett say that "we film a lot of stuff in one take" … doesn’t sound like someone partying to me if they are filming most of their scenes in 1 take.

  67. Profile photo of soapscribe

    So it’s the gays that are killing daytime? And here I thought it was O.J. Perhaps one day we’ll know the true story when "If I Killed Daytime: Here’s How It Happened" by Brian Frons hits the bookstores.   

  68. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    TPTB got scared that the gay storyline was driving viewers away. That’s why I was told they scrapped the story. I am not going to comment on any rumors about Brett, because however he may or may not behave, my sources indicate that had nothing to do with the decision. It was fear and panic and the need for a scapegoat for the dismal ratings.


  69. Profile photo of sarahlmsw

    All I can say is Amen.  You said everything else.  The fans are definitely set to fight for this couple, both mainstream and not mainstream fans.  They are beloved by all different types of people.  And if ABC felt like they didn’t resonate with fans before, they are definitely finding out how much they resonated now.  They definitely should regret this decision and will, I believe, face lower ratings if this decision carries through.  Thanks for posting this.

  70. Profile photo of jase

    Let’s keep it real – what is to blame for the dismal ratings?  Not KISH.  Not Rachel Gannon, not even Schuyler.  What’s to blame for the ratings, and I know DC may not want to discuss this, is a variety of frontburner stories and characters/actors pushed that did not work.  Rex and Gigi don’t work anymore.  They were good once but they’ve been broken since Stacy showed up.  Rex has become an unwatchable asshole.  I like FF, she tries her heart out but she has bombed in the last month and now she is acting a fool and taking it out on the fans.

    Then there’s Jessica.  Who wants to watch Crazy-ass Jessica Part 9?  Not me, but here we are.

    Then we got John and Natalie.  Who gives a shit?  I don’t.  I stopped giving a shit in 2003.

    Then you got the Todd and Tea romance.  FL and TSJ are great actors, but the soppy tear-soaked post-rapemance Todd and Tea reunion did not work, has never drawn ratings, or at least not in ten years.  That’s because of two reasons, one being that Todd and Tea don’t work as nice guys who everyone apologizes for, which is what the show has been doing with them for a year, WHITEWASHING THEM.  These two are BAD PEOPLE WE LOVE and that is how  they should be written, when they are not no one cares.  People like when FL acts up because it is Tea doing what she should, not weeping and whining.  And Todd doesn’t work anymore as a character since the rapemance.  HE DOES NOT WORK.

    They put all these people frontburner for months, either with bad actors or bad stories, and now they are blaming the wrong people.  Period.

  71. Profile photo of celticbelle

    [quote=md1347]Watch the Michael Fairman video from a couple days ago with Brett and Scott… around 13:13 minutes in Brett say that "we film a lot of stuff in one take" … doesn’t sound like someone partying to me if they are filming most of their scenes in 1 take.
    [/quote] ..

    I totally agree with you and it certainly didnt effect their performances which were always
    outstanding……Brett and Scotts committment to this story shone through….besides i’m sure there have been many actors who caused delays on the set for various reasons, including egos….this is just a lame excuse by OLTL to cover their own butts……..  

  72. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Jase, why would we not want to discuss the other things wrong with OLTL? We discuss them all the time. I call Jessica Messica. I lament Mitch Lawrence on each and every podcast, however, I have praised the show because it had more right about it, than wrong, in terms of generally smart dialogue and diversity. Kish, Kim, Schuyler, Rachel, along with David, Tea, Todd, Dani, etc. helped me overlook the cartoonish stuff with Mitch and Messica, but we have talked about it. We’ve also slammed the writing and acting for Rex and Gigi. Just because we have supported OLTL does not mean at any time we have stopped pointing out when it goes astray. I never get these, "I know DC might not want to discuss this" references, when that’s all we do here is discuss everything about this industry, all day, every day.

  73. Profile photo of jase

    No, here’s the difference.  Your article above, which is mostly right on, cites 3 people in specifics being to blame for the show’s downturn in ratings over the last year: Mitch, Jessica, Stacy.  But let’s look at that.  Mitch came on in November and Jessica, while I agree she is a hot mess, didn’t have much of a story til then either.  And Stacy, we all hated her but the fact is she was not frontburner in a room alone – Rex and Gigi were right there with her, whining and being assholes to each other every damn day.  Is it a coincidence that some people softened to Stacy once she was alone with Kim, away from them (I personally did not, but I saw posts here to that effect) .  And Marty’s pregnancy, while boring, JUST HAPPENED.  After KAD, Marty couldn’t buy a scene on this show until Jared died – in November.  Even now she is an afterthought, about to get the rock for John and Natalie.

    However, we know what was on all year long: John.  Rex, Gigi, Stacy and their romantic drama.  Todd and Tea.  Todd and Tea were on 24-7 til the break of dawn until last month when suddenly they got the Poochie The Dog exit from The Simpsons, and now OLTL is basically resetting Todd to where he was before the Danielle story – unrepentant re-rapist played for sex and laughs with yet another woman expected to prop him up.  That’s gonna fail too.  Listen, FL and TSJ are good actors and FL is in a lot of ways the essence of soap, I love her, but that pairing, or specifically the sappy bullshit way they wrote it, did not make ratings, it just made for board talk, and those are not one and the same.  People don’t like being talked down to, they don’t like being told Todd is a great guy and a great parent everyday less than a year after that business with Hope and Marty.  They sense bullshit.  If you do a wedding for this couple where Todd mocks Tea and cracks about their sex life through the whole ceremony, if you don’t take any of it seriously, why should the audience?  And they didn’t.  They didn’t buy it.  They don’t buy Todd the good guy.  People watch Todd when Todd is tearing shit up.  They don’t care when he is Mr. Nice Guy, and he dragged Tea down with him.

    Now, if you meant to imply that Rex, Gigi, John, Todd and Tea were just as large an element in the fail of the last year as Stacy and a series of characters whose stories really kicked in in the last two months, then I sincerely apologize for misunderstanding.  I like so much of what you do here and I think a great deal of it is in the best reporting in what’s left of this business.  But let’s look at  the whole picture, and  the whole picture, and fans’ discontent with it, is also what led to Farah Fath trashing several fan message boards on her Myspace this week.

  74. Profile photo of jase

    I’ll cop to a mistake on Jessica above – she had the Bess nonsense earlier in the year, which I didn’t think was great but it was certainly on.  Still, she didn’t have the kind of frontburner presence even then that she does now, in a stupid story which ITA is tanking the show.

  75. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Jase, I was just highlighting a few of the larger factors that the show could have looked at instead of Kish, who I believe actually drew new viewers for the show. I agree of much of what you are saying, the complaint I tend to see most from disgruntled OLTL fans is about Todd Manning. Admittedly, I like the character, but I’m sure that also has played a factor. As for Farah, I get a bit squeamish posting news from people’s personal facebook and My Space profiles. Twitter is, in my opinion, a different story, unless it’s set to private, but I didn’t want to take a possible rant in a moment of frustration and make Farah look bad. I see a lot of people didn’t have the same thought, since it is linked from here to forever, LOL.  I am a fan of Farah’s but I have had issues with her performances for awhile now. I think she needs to put her game face on and try to get others out of her head. People talk shit about Meryl Streep, it’s a part of being in the public eye. That being said, I certainly get the urge to defend yourself (as I was doing with you earlier, LOL) but because I put myself in somewhat of a spotlight, I have to be ready to take criticism. 

  76. Profile photo of jase

    We both like, or liked Todd.  I have watched for almost 20 years, since I was in grade school and until ’08 Todd was one of my favorite characters, almost #1 with a bullet.  But I no longer recognize him now and in fact despise him.  That’s because Ron, who I have always admired and still want at the show, did not get it.  He fucked up bad on that story and he still doesn’t seem to understand what he did wrong.  Todd as a character is broken.   When those kind of huge life-altering things happen with a char on a soap, they resonate with an audience – whether it is Maureen dying or Kelly fucking her stepson or Josh fucking Cassie – and unless you organically repair the characters and relationships from that point, you have no hope of going forward.  The audience will always sense that you are being counterfeit.  That’s why Todd’s stories have all fallen flat in the last year and that is why the same old whitewash with him, and Tea, has not worked.  Who’s gonna believe Todd really wants to change?  When did they show me that instead of telling me?  Who’s gonna believe he is a better dad  than Ross?

    I loved FL’s return but they put her in a long, boring, horrible story.  She came back fierce and then they tried to turn her into Carly and Todd into Sonny, whitewashing them the same way those characters get whitewashed on GH.  Now Lozano will most likely be let go – I saw it coming when those two’s lame scenes turned into subliminal cutaways in February – and it’s not even her fault.  FL’s given it her all, but she knows her character better than the show, she goes places they don’t want to and as a result she is taking the blame for their writing and for what has happened to Todd.  And in another year, unless they rethink things on Todd, GT or someone else will likely do the same.  Lozano could excel on this show with or without Todd but they have never let her do that and when she is with Todd it turns into a maudlin cheesefest unworthy of either character.

    What else is there?  Kelly?  Poor Gina.  A pairing with Todd won’t work and will only bury her further with the audience.  I may be an old Todd and Blair fan but  you couldn’t pay me to campaign for them to reunite now – spare KDP.

    I understand FF’s frustration up to a point.  The reality though is she should not be torturing herself with the message boards.  If all soap stars did, FL, TSJ and KDP would be homicidal maniacs by now.  And the fact is her performances have not been up to snuff of late.  I like her, I like Gigi but I’ve hated her story for most of the year and these ratings are heavily on her and JPL/Rex, who is incredibly unsympathetic.  I thought Fath’s best work, possibly ever, was in her drunk scenes with Sky last fall.  A combination of good writing and realistic performance.  Unfortunately she may never win the general audience back.

  77. Profile photo of celticbelle

    [quote=Jamey Giddens]TPTB got scared that the gay storyline was driving viewers away. That’s why I was told they scrapped the story. I am not going to comment on any rumors about Brett, because however he may or may not behave, my sources indicate that had nothing to do with the decision. It was fear and panic and the need for a scapegoat for the dismal ratings.


    I’m really confused Jamey….if ABC thinks the gay storyline was driving viewers away why are they recasting lesbian Bianca on AMC??…..why support one gay storyline and not another??….maybe the popular Kish would have been too much competition for Frons favourite show…….. 

  78. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    I’m really confused Jamey….if ABC thinks the gay storyline was driving viewers away why are they recasting lesbian Bianca on AMC??…..why support one gay storyline and not another??….maybe the popular Kish would have been too much competition for Frons favourite show……..
    Because Eden Riegel got a better job, and ABC are being petty asshats.

  79. Profile photo of abc soap lover
    abc soap lover

    PREACH brother PREACH!!!!!!

    Here is my problem whith the recent events:

    1)  Too many quality actors being let go at once.

    2)  While the Kish storyline was not everyone’s cup of tea, it was at least well written and acted while other, more front burner, storylines are poorly written and/or acted.

    3)  OLTL has always been a vanguard representing minorities and touchy non-talked about subjects.  It is a shame that they would cut short telling ongoing storylines with characters of diverse backgrounds.  OLTL had lost its way storywise at times but they always tried to represent….until now.

    4)  Rehashing failed pairings and prolonging boring parings.

    5)  The Mitch storyline was missing something (good acting only being one piece).  The reason for Mitch’s return seemed weak.  Also, making him Rex’s dad was a mistake.  I was hoping that the man in the hospital was Spencer Truman and that would have tied Rex to David Vickers and the Buchanans. 

    6)  Not enough Vicki/Dorian scenes.  These women can make sunshine out of ___.  Use them like they should be used…..EVERYDAY.

    7)  Storylines that should be played out with legacy characters are not (Clint/Bo/Nora conflict).  Teens strugling with a baby instead of living large (Star and Cole).  BTW does anyone else think that their apartment is a refresh of the apartment Jamie and Babe had on AMC years ago?

    I could go on but I think you’ve got the point.  I have enjoyed OLTL with all of its flaws.  The sudden compiling of bad moves makes it hard to see the good for the bad.  

    I will end with this…there is no such thing as bad press so maybe this will help in the long run.



  80. Profile photo of soapscribe

    I’m really confused Jamey….if ABC thinks the gay storyline was driving viewers away why are they recasting lesbian Bianca on AMC??…..why support one gay storyline and not another??….
    Because Brian Frons thinks lesbians are cute and sexy, but gay men are sick and disgusting

  81. Profile photo of celticbelle

    [quote=Jamey Giddens]I’m really confused Jamey….if ABC thinks the gay storyline was driving viewers away why are they recasting lesbian Bianca on AMC??…..why support one gay storyline and not another??….maybe the popular Kish would have been too much competition for Frons favourite show……..
    Because Eden Riegel got a better job, and ABC are being petty asshats.



    Thanks for responding Jamey……
    not surprised…..and thats exactly how they are acting about kish……

  82. Profile photo of EricasEvilTwin

    Question – I see all this Frons hate and yet I thought Nelson said today that this was all on FV and that his decision was based on focus groups.  Do we know who’s fingerprints were on this one?

  83. Profile photo of sallyv

    I agree with everything you said…except for the stuff about Kish. I guess I’m one of the few that DIDN’T like them. Not that I have anything against a gay love story, but I never really felt it with them. Kyle…I really liked the character…Oliver, not so much.  I’m not sure if Brett is gay in real life like Scott is, but Brett played gay so much better than Scott. Scott couldn’t act his way out of a paper sack so I never bought into his character. I, personally, am glad this storyline is ending.

    That being said…I quit watching this show three + weeks ago because I no longer recognized any of the characters that I used to love.

  84. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003

    How could Frank kill it when Kish hasn’t been on that much unlike Rigi, Todd and  the Mitch crap.  It is a lame excuse and that why the fans are very angry with the show right now.

  85. Profile photo of SaraBella

    Of course the Kish couple were the reason the ratings went down and so was Gigi and Rex and their kid.  Then add Dorian and her actics and Mitch Lawence, John McBain and the letting go of Vangie, Antonio and Nash.  The entire show is a mess and I stopped watching for all of the above.  If I wanted to see a gay show, I would watch cable.  Every soap that has had gays front and center has either been cancelled are at the bottom of the heap. 

  86. Profile photo of mike4atwt

    It’s absolutely ridiculous to believe that KISH is the cause of low ratings.  Go back and look at the ratings from a year ago — before KISH existed as a couple.  They were already low and going lower.  The problems existed before KISH and will continue to exist after KISH unless the writers address other problems with the show.

    KISH is just a very easy scapegoat for TPTB to use as an excuse right now.  It’s very easy to piggy back this onto the homophobia that is still, unfortuantely, widespread.  A lot of people will automatically accept that if anything is going to lead to lower ratings, it’s GOT to be the gay couple.  What else could it possibly be?  I guess that must sound logical to homophobes…  I find it hard to believe that a loving gay couple can be that offensive.  I guess they are taking airtime away from plotlines involving kidnapping, infidelity, promiscuity, murder and rape?  That must be it…

    I’ve been watching OLTL since I was a kid.  That was long enough ago that I remember Viki when Viki was NOT Erika Slezak!  When Carla Grey passing as white was absolutely scandalous!  This show has always taken on social issues that weren’t necessarily popular with the so-called "mainstream."  That is a strength.  Both the black cast members and KISH should be viewed as strengths.  The loss of viewers overall has far more to do with the writing and loss of focus on the core families and veteran characters than on the simple inclusion of African-American or gay characters.  Judging by many dozens of posts on numerous boards, KISH has brought a number of new viewers to the show.

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